Arsenal and Liverpool Yawn

The Arsenal-Liverpool game today was a big fat yawn. Both teams are very poor compared to the sides of previous years and both could conceivably drop out of the top 4 if City, Spurs, and Villa get their acts together.

The difference in this game was Jamie Carragher, or more accurately his forced absence due to injury and the presence of Philipp Degen. Degen seemed to think he was playing as a winger instead of a fullback and decided not to follow Diaby in the box on the goal. Carragher would have won the header. Also Fabregas should have been sent off in the final seconds for a blatant handball. No surprise it was Howard Webb officiating.

A couple thoughts on the two teams:

First, on Arsenal. For all their beautiful play they are dependent on a dominant #9 center forward. Any title hopes were quashed this season not with predictable defeats to United and Chelsea but when Van Persie went down. Van Persie gave them the thing they hadn’t had since Henry a guy who didn’t try and pass the ball into the net but someone who would just freaking shot. The Arsenal mentality was encapsulated when Bendtner break trhough one-on-one with the keeper and his shot went just over the bar – but there was Cesc Fabregas yelling at Bendtner to pass him but Cesc was A. in a worse shooting position and B. had a defender on his back. A pass would have been a waste, yet it described the Arsenal approach. They are just too predictable and both Chelsea and United exposed that. Liverpool did as well, but well…

And on to Liverpool. Despite styming the Gunners defensively, they just pack no offensive punch whatsoever. They effectively play with two players that simply should not be on a top 4 side. First Ngog, he may became a good player but right now he looks awkward as if he is in the midst of puberity. Bringing on Babel was a revelation and his physicality and speed, as well as his willingness to shoot, would seem to make him a better Torres replacement than Ngog. To be fair he did some decent things, but he is anything but threatening. Second, Lucas – he offers nothing. I don’t have much to offer on top of what Ken has said, but I just don’t understand why he is playing for Liverpool and not Portsmouth. I think Benitez has a clear record of success – something the British press don’t give him credit for but his refusal to use players that Liverpool has spent 20 million pounds on is really baffling.

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One Response

  1. Liverpool is one of my favorite teams. To my mind they are the absolute champions, regardless of how they will be held the next matches.

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